Increasing Fairness in the Voting Process through Document Management

 

shutterstock_398545522Forget delegates for a moment, if you will. Let’s instead focus on delegation: which system should be responsible for ensuring the fairness of your vote this election season? We think it should be the document management system, and here’s why:

Your vote regarding the matter will resolve an impending battle to be won on the political playing field, and it isn’t the battle presently fought between the left and the right—the conservative and the liberal—the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’—nor is it one belonging to the many other dualities reserving their spot in the corners of the American conscience during election season.

Rather, it’s a more pressing and relevant duality—one whose outcome may either entail or forego the counting of your very vote—your voice as a citizen of your nation. The document management system is yet to prove itself in the political realm, but it’s capable of doing just that.

This battle is a silent, audience-less tug-of-war between the mediums by which the sacred, democratic practice of voting is enabled: should these votes be delivered in paper or digitally? If the vote is for the latter of these two options (digitally), document management software can and should become the sole facilitator of the presidential voting process, and for good reason.

Sure, as a document management software vendor, eFileCabinet—much like the political candidates running for office—is acting on behalf of its interest by asserting that document management should eventually play an integral role in the voting process. However, the sole difference between eFileCabinet and some of the candidates running for office is eFileCabinet’s evidenced track record of fulfilling its promises.

The case to overhaul the current voting system via document management is only strengthened by experts’ perspective on the current presidential voting model. For instance, Brookings Institution senior fellow Elaine Karmack opined that “there are many different ways to organize a presidential nominating system and almost all of them are more rational and orderly than the hodgepodge of systems that voters experience today,” – and do note the italicization of the term ‘orderly’ in this quote—document management brings order to the organization just as it could to the modern voting system, and some of this order could be found in streamlining the current presidential primaries election process.

The order in which these primaries occur, on a state-by-state basis, slights the votes of millions of Americans who aren’t able to vote in the primaries until other states have gained a number of delegate leads that sometimes prove insurmountable, and it’s only fair to infer that this stage of the election is so segmented because of the chaos and confusion that the paper-dependent voting process creates, yet another reason to implement the document management system.

However, if the voting primaries weren’t a paper-dependent process and conducted through document management software, they could be more readily organized and—perhaps—occurring all at once. This would level the playing field among voters nationwide, which is no small feat for an enterprise software.

But this enterprise software has already experienced some success in government.

Many municipalities already rely on document management software to track, manage, and store information vital to the people governing their cities, and even larger governing bodies are hinting at the need for initiatives that store, track, and manage documents effectively. For instance, take the National Market System soon to be actualized by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This consolidated audit trail, as a national market system, will strive to “develop, implement, and maintain a consolidated audit trail that collects and accurately identifies every order, cancellation, modification, and trade execution for all exchange-listed equities and options across the US markets.”  The words forming this quote not only imply a call for greater use of technology to manage information regarding an ever-increasing American population, they also imply that outdated, paper-dependent processes are no longer fit to manage information at the federal level.

Additionally, other nations’ voting processes are neither confusing nor in disarray. The voting process, as it is administered in other countries outside the United States, involve little dispute between the public and those who govern it. One needn’t look further than the structure of our own voting system to understand its negative differences: from the disputes arising over swing states to the use of the electoral college over popular vote, paper only exacerbates the confusion, making the ballot-counting process rapid, chaotic, and therefore—difficult to trace, demanding use of a document management system in the voting process.

Many in recent years have also discussed gerrymandering as an issue in the voting process. Not surprisingly, it’s an issue that both digital voting and Internet access alike can overthrow at both the presidential and local election scale. The less that citizens have to drive to their voting booths, the less opportunity there is for corruption in the form of placing these voting locations unreasonably far from citizens living in counties marginalized by the voting process.

Although The Pew Research Center reports that 88% of U.S. households have access to at least one car, the increase in access to the internet may soon reach a point where the voting booth exists on citizens’ laptops. Yet another argument for document management system use come election day.

If issues with election primaries, gerrymandering, and federal admission of need for more organized processes weren’t enough to convince you that the document management system and other paperless solutions can resolve many issues with the voting process, perhaps the present state of caucuses can change your mind. It can be argued that caucuses have little fidelity to the voting process, as they can limit the impact of individual voters—instead rewarding the more extreme voters who partake in the political processes occurring behind closed doors.

In order to ensure a positive future for voters, we must look back in time to those who legitimized political fairness. Winston Churchill once famously noted, with his usual aphoristic flair, that “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried.” Although America remains a constitutional republic, the document management system, if adopted for voting purposes, would help voters reclaim the principles of democracy upon which our country was founded.

Instead of only voting for a political candidate, we should also be able to vote on how we determine the outcome of an election, and relying on secure and efficient technologies to accomplish this feat is the first and most meaningful step in turning this idyll into reality.

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By | 2017-01-26T09:32:35+00:00 April 27th, 2016|
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